California introduces legislation banning BDS

El Porto, California WIKI COMMONS PHOTO
El Porto, California WIKI COMMONS PHOTO

California state assemblyman Travis Allen on Monday introduced a bill that would block California from doing business with companies that implement boycotts based on race, colour, religion, gender, or nationality—in particular as it relates to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Allen’s proposed measure “will require parties contracting with the state government to certify that they do not participate in boycotts against California’s trading partners,” the lawmaker’s office said.

“California strongly opposes discrimination. Of particular concern lately is the fact that boycotts of entities and individuals affiliated with specific countries can amount to ethnic, religious, racial and/or national origin discrimination. No group better demonstrates this fact than the boycott, sanctions and divestment movement (BDS), whose use of false, demonizing and delegitimizing propaganda against the State of Israel has become a pretext for the expression of anti-Jewish bigotry,” said Allen.

The U.S. states of South Carolina and Illinois have passed similar legislation that takes concrete action against BDS supporters, while state legislatures in Tennessee, New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Florida have passed resolutions condemning the BDS movement.